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Tuesday September 16, 2008 11:30 am

A Town Without TV

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: FOX, Editorial,

Louisville, KY

It all started Sunday morning. I woke up hearing these terrible noises outside - banging, howling, whistling and scraping. “What’s that!” I cried in alarm.

“Just the wind,” I was answered by the person who lives with me.

Well then, no big deal. Or so I thought.

The power went out while I was taking my wake-up shower. The lights had already flicked several times, so surely this was only a temporary inconvenience.

As my home started to grow hotter and hotter (no power means no air conditioning also), we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. The battery in my laptop lasted only two hours, and we found ourselves still in the heat with no entertainment relief.

The VCR (yes, I still have one) would not work. No video games could be played. It didn’t matter that we have one thousand channels, for none of them could be accessed. We played cards instead, then moved on to the board games.

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Around eight o’ clock in the evening, we began to crave something hot to eat. The power had been out now all day long. We had no phone - I have only cordless contraptions which need electricity to run. So we journeyed out, toward civilization, to find warm food.

It was only then that we began to realize the full scope of what had happened to our city. The hurricanes in Texas happened far south from where I live…but apparently still not far enough away. Our river valley caught a good deal of these winds - 70 to 80 miles per hour worth of fierce, biting gusts. Everywhere we looked, it was only blackness. Every piece of lawn we could see was covered in tree limbs, leaves. Soon it became impossible to keep track of the houses which were covered in trees (or various pieces of trees).

Close to ten in the evening, it was all too clear: no one in the city had any power. This included fast food establishments.

With candles lit, we played more board games. We played more cards. We sat and stared at each other and ate cold food.  Around midnight, everything in the refrigerator began to stink.

More than twenty-four hours have passed and no residential area in the city has power. Some of the commercial grids are back up and running, but for the most part much of the city sits at a standstill. Today, people are pulling limbs off their roofs and paying people to haul away the remainders of large, towering trees. What they aren’t doing is taking hot showers or eating hot food, curling up on the couch to watch a favorite DVD or randomly flip through channels.

I can’t believe I ever thought the flicker of candlelight was romantic. As I write my article in long hand and think about the dark, freezing cold shower I endured earlier today, I ponder what it’s like to live in a world without modern conveniences.

And above all, I miss my DVR the most. Suddenly I want nothing more than a thousand channels full of nothing, a collection of DVDs I’ve long since grown tired of, even those old VCR tapes stuffed into random drawers. I complain a lot about the quality of scripts (or lack thereof) and Hollywood writers who recycle ideas. But I’ve spent almost 30 hours now trying to manufacture entertainment for myself and I have to admit, it ain’t easy.

Outside, tempers are short and nerves are frayed. Trees are toppled and businesses are closed. Heck, we don’t even have functioning traffic lights at this point. Without all those electronic wonders we are without an entertainment outlet. As hard as it is to find quality on TV, as annoyed as I get with the many repeats and renewals, today I think I would like anything if it promised to rescue me from board games and Gin Rummy. Today, I think I would find love for everything from News to animated sitcoms. For being without them is almost a fate worse than death…or at least, it does make life pretty boring and pretty silent. Entertainment isn’t perfect…but having electricity is.

Have you flipped through your channels today?


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